Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou clearly wasn’t impressed with the Tannadice turf despite the Hoops bossing their way to a 3-0 Scottish Cup win.
Ange’s Celts booked their spot to face Rangers at Hampden in impressive style. Despite the ball consistently bobbling all over the place – especially in the final third – the Hoops were never in any danger against the Arabs.
A Callum McGregor opener was followed by a second-half brace from Giorgos Giakoumakis. The job was done in an efficient fashion after an 8-day period without a match.
But even so, Ange believes the pitch was partly to blame when it comes to why the win wasn’t even more emphatic.
Speaking to BBC Scotland last night, the Celtic boss said: “I thought we were in control the whole game. It’s not an easy pitch to play on. You could tell the boys were struggling at times just to move the ball, it was bobbling about.
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“It’s not easy. When you can’t move the ball quickly because of the conditions and the opposition are deep. We still had some bright moments. We had a goal disallowed and I thought there were a couple of other times where the ball has flashed across the box and we could’ve done better.
“But when you’re coming away from home in a knockout game, then 3-0 is pretty comprehensive.”
Celtic dealt with the conditions at Tannadice to perfection
Ange is spot on to bring this up. it was frustrating to hear it go unmentioned during the Premier Sports commentary of the game. It was clear very early on that the ball wasn’t settling right on the turf.
Given how Celtic like to play, this was always going to affect us more than United. And it was certainly noticeable in the first-half in particular. Reo Hatate was getting into good areas but then had a wasteful final ball on him. Much of this was down to the ball bouncing up before he struck it.
Callum McGregor also had the same issue at times despite having an all-round excellent display. When players tried to feed the ball to James Forrest, so many were over-hit because of the pitch.
But even so, Celtic were in no mood to be sorry for themselves. Far from it. They simply got back on the horse and created yet more threatening opportunities in the final third. We fully deserved all the rewards we got last night.
It’s even more impressive that we managed to win by 3 goals too. We all had this down as a tricky encounter. Yet, in all seriousness, the pitch probably helped United to not lose by an even greater scoreline. That’s without even mentioning Daizen Maeda’s goal that clearly should’ve stood.
So a massive congrats to Ange and the team. Now, we look ahead to Saturday and yet another tricky game against in-form Ross County in Premiership action.